Call for Entries: Ozomatli and the Corrido of LA

Gajin Fujita, The Corrido of LA, 2010

Last year LACMA and USC hatched a plan. A handful of us got together to discuss how we could celebrate the centennial of the Mexican Revolution and do something fun and creative. Ideas were tossed around the table until we settled on one: reclaiming the time-old tradition of the corrido song by adapting it to our very own city of L.A. We then called the all-star band Ozomatli and asked them to help. . . and they said yes!

What is as a corrido? It’s a narrative song or ballad that emerged in the nineteenth century in Mexico, halfway between oral history and myth.  Back in the day corridos documented events of everyday life. Some told tragic stories and were sober in tone, while others were more playful and poked fun of social and political realities.

As our plan developed, we decided to invite students in grades seven through twelve to compose a modern day corrido. The only rules we would impose were there would be no rules! Well, almost. . .

Submissions do have to be sent to us by November 15. And the corrido does have to be about LA. For example, it can be a poem, drawing, painting, performance, or video. It can be a story told in first person, or narrate any aspect of the city that you find interesting. You can write it in English, Spanish, or any other language. You can rock it, hip-hop it, choose any music you like, or create your own beat.

Best of all, Ozomatli will perform ten selected submissions at LACMA in a free public performance in December!

Click here for more details on the event, and how to submit your song.

Ilona Katzew
LACMA, Curator and Co-Department Head, Latin American Art

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